3.1 Your Day In Court

3.1 Your day in court

Make sure you get to court on time. Arrive at the courthouse at least 10 minutes before your trial is scheduled to begin.

Outside your assigned courtroom, check the docket on the wall to make sure you’re in the right place.

What happens before your trial

The prosecutor asks everyone their name and how they are going to plead (guilty or not guilty). If you wish to plead not guilty, let them know.

The prosecutor, possibly with the help of the police officer, may offer you a deal.

Often, they will try to intimidate you. If you’ve done your research, know the evidence against you and are ready to go to trial, do not feel pressured to take the deal! There are many people with strong cases who have pleaded guilty too early.

Be careful of what you disclose to the police officer and the prosecutor—remember, anything you say can be used against you.

The Justice will enter the courtroom (remember, always address the Justice as your worship).

At this point, all of the prosecutor's weak cases will be dropped. This will often include:

  • Cases where the officer fails to show up to testify
  • Cases where disclosure was not provided
  • Cases where there was a successful application for a stay

The prosecutor will then proceed to accept guilty pleas from all the people who have given up on their right to a trial. After this is completed, the trial begins.